This introductory chapter is mainly about the locality postulate of the standard relativity theory. The fundamental laws of microphysics have been formulated with respect to inertial observers. However, inertial observers do not in fact exist, since actual observers are accelerated. What do accelerated observers measure? Lorentz invariance is extended to accelerated observers by assuming that they are pointwise inertial. That is, an accelerated observer at each instant is equivalent to an otherwise identical momentarily comoving inertial observer. This hypothesis of locality, which underlies the special and general theories of relativity, is described in detail. The locality postulate fits perfectly together with Einstein’s local principle of equivalence to ensure that every observer in a gravitational field is pointwise inertial. When coupled with the hypothesis of locality, Einstein’s principle of equivalence provides a physical basis for a field theory of gravitation that is consistent with local Lorentz invariance.
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